Eric Lindsay's Blog July 2013

Monday 1 July 2013


I got up before six. It seemed colder than the previous day. I could see the light of a cruise liner out in Pioneer Bay. That means there should be a market on today.

Pulled a large egg out of the fridge for breakfast, but my only real option for cooking it was as a boiled egg. Luckily I managed the absolutely perfect boiled egg (except for spilling a lot of hot water on the stove top). Put egg in before water had boiled. Checked it was done enough by evaporation of hot water from the shell. Turned off stove top before I did anything else. Cooled egg in cold water. The shell peeled perfectly, without burning my fingers. The white was done, the yolk was running. I did not put too much salt on it. I am an awesome cook (for very small values of both awesome and cook, and only involving eggs).

Set out on my walk to Canonvale via the boardwalk before the sun was over the hillside. A very pleasant walk, although a little chilly until the sun came up. I continued to Bunnings hardware, which made just over five kilometres.

No luck at Bunnings with a router fitting for the Dremel rotary tool. I suspect they no longer stock that item. I did find some plastic wood filler for more repairs. Took photos of a bunch of their wood and laminate stock, so I can work out what I want to build when I can collect things using a car.

Resisted ice cream on special at Coles. Got a bunch of food stuffs, several of which I turned out to be overstocked on. Sigh! Caught a taxi home. Excuse is too many cold items in my bags.

Walked down to the markets, since there was a market on for the cruise ship visitors. Looked after Glenn's stall while he visited the loo.

Dropped in at Reception to say goodbye to Rose, who is leaving. Greg was there, trying to organise a new manager. He does not know how long he will be staying.


Today is the first day of the wrong end of the year.

If you really want to live forever, try to get resurrected as a jellyfish.

I see RailCorp is now NSW Trains. Your fares and Government charges at work. It seems too many people were calling it RailCorpse.

CityRail changed to Sydney Trains. Printing contractors happy. I guess ShittyRail was too popular also.

Gadgets Today

I have not left the glued together Coke cans for long enough. It seems the silicone sealant takes 72 hours to cure. So I started using the Dremel tool to cut the bottoms off more Coke cans. This is tedious, and noisy, and the cutting disk gets destroyed every one or two cans.


It seems the Australian tax Office has finally released a version of their eTax that works on an Apple Macintosh computer. What about Linux? Delphi XE2 has introduced a cross-platform graphical user interface (GUI) framework called FireMonkey, which allows users to create GUIs which will work across Windows, OS X, and iOS. eTax is written in Delphi. I really hope the Tax Office decide to produce a web based system.

Tuesday 2 July 2013


It was still dark before six when I got up. Temperature inside was 22C, outside was 18C around six. Better than 11C at Townsville.

I had hot chocolate and buttered raisin toast for breakfast. Started the laundry and then went for a walk around Airlie Beach. Only three kilometres this time, which is a bit too short.

There was someone using a noisy air blower outside, so I cut the tops off another half dozen Coke cans. The air blower tends to mask my additional noise.

Put out the laundry. Air temperature is up nicely by a little after eight. Decided that I had probably failed to use laundry detergent (although I did dump in fabric softener at the right time).

Now back to computer.

Pile driving going on at the marina.

I heated the left over Easy Meal, as the easiest way to have an early lunch. Later had a banana, strawberries, chocolate ice cream and dipping sauce. I am sure that is part of a regular diet.

Chad and Rose were having a farewell at the Jubilee pocket tavern in the evening, ahead of their moving day. I walked there (about 20 minutes) to say goodbye. Met a few of the other pilots and engineers from the airport and chatted with them. Back home around 9:30 p.m. after a moderately chilly and therefore brisk walk back. All helps with the exercise program.

Solar Charging

I found the Waka Waka solar charger was flashing the blue USB power light in the morning. My guess is that the (now fully charged) iPhone is still trying to get top up power, and the Waka Waka is not sure there is enough circuitry attached. Waka Waka battery is down to two lights (out of four).

I put the Waka Waka back out in the tropical sun to charge. After a day in the sun, it reached three lights.


I lost internet access around 9 a.m. No web pages coming in. Ping fails. ADSL modem lights are not indicating any problem. Traceroute stalls. Then it starts getting the Telstra core routers. So traceroute is OK, and now ping is also OK. Internet back after five minutes, without me changing anything on my connection.

Internet slow as hell by 3 p.m.

Internet seems to be down at 4:03 p.m. Ping times out. Traceroute … works. Ping is back. Internet is back. I changed nothing. Problem is outside somewhere.

Internet is down again at 11:23 p.m. Ping fails. Traceroute seems to be out of action. A few minutes later the red modem warrning light was on. I power sequenced the ADSL modem.


The only boats Labor is likely to stop are at Abbott Point coal terminal.

Kevin Rudd is just using the Riddikulus spell to look like Harry Potter. He might still be Voldemort. @KRuddMP

I don’t mind Labor re-arranging the deck chairs on their Titanic cabinet, but did they have to play musical chairs first? #auspol

Bento Database

I have a bunch of data in a Filemaker Bento personal data base. While it works well enough, I am annoyed that I can only sync my Apple Macintosh version with one iPhone and one iPad. I have an iPad Mini as well as an earlier full size iPad.

Here is a Mind Map of how Filemaker Bento on iPad works from Thomas Unterstenhoefer. This gives a handy overview.

Wednesday 3 July 2013


I was up around 4:30 a.m. This was partly because the moon was shining in the window. Got onto the internet again.

Hot chocolate and thick raisin toast for breakfast. Even remembered my tablets.

Walked down to the Marina turnoff, then around the marina, including the beach on the far side. Surveyor setting out lines for the pile driving. There is a large stranded boat up on the sand. Then the usual beachside walk, and back through the main street.

Greg recognised me, and we exchanged greetings. Then John Carey turned up on his bicycle. First time I have seen him in about four years. He is at one of the motels up the other end of town these days. Collected a newspapers. Checked reception for mail (none). Just over five kilometres in just under an hour walking time. Not too bad.

A couple of slices of left over pizza for lunch. Not the greatest choice but the freezer is full of it. Had a banana and strawberries later. A boiled egg for dinner.

Pile driving continues. So I continued cutting the tops off cans.


I boosted the charge in the iPad 4 using the Jaycar solar battery charger. Brought the iPhone to full charge and added some to the iPad Mini using the WakaWaka solar power charger. I put both chargers outside once the sun came up.

Another half dozen Coke cans cut open. No more empty cans left here, unless I drink some Coke. I have accumulated at least a dozen back at Carlyle Gardens. I glued a bunch of cans together end to end. Some have five cans in the stack, some four. So I made a bunch more with two cans. Now I have to wait at least overnight for the silicone sealant to set. I think I will need at least a half dozen cans in each air heater string.


I seemed to lose internet access sometime around 10:50 a.m. A red internet fault light on the Netgear ADSL modem. The connection came back spontaneously a few minutes later without any change to my system. However internet connection speed is lousy. Basically unusable. Luckily it later speed up again.


What! @mpesce: And interesting number of you believe in reptile aliens. Do you mean to tell me they do not exist? Disappointed!

TapForms Database

I found TapForms database by Canadian Brendan Duddridge. He has versions for Apple Macintosh, iPad and iPhone, and iCloud sync between them. That is starting to look interesting. It seemed to have a decent range of field types. It supports barcode reading and searching. It lacks the Media field of Bento, but otherwise has as many fields.

There was an interesting thread on the Bento forums about TapForms. A fair bit of praise. I bought FileMarker Pro when it was a bit cheaper, so I have an incentive to use that. However I thought it was probably overkill for my limited database needs. So I am looking for alternatives.

Here is a Mind Map of TapForms HD for iPad by Thomas Unterstenhoefer. It gives a good overview. Compare it with the Bento equivalent I mentioned a few days ago.

Sync via Google?

I think Apple will have a lot of problems making program data sync anywhere near as well as Google's use of their file servers as the master record of your content. However, Google makes essentially all their profit from selling their users to advertisers. Hell will freeze over before I volunteer to give Google any more information than they can already extract, despite my efforts to hide my identity from them.

Thursday 4 July 2013


I was up at about half past five. The waning moon awakened me, despite being a mere sliver.

Raisin toast and hot chocolate for breakfast. Took photo of lights showing red, white and blue. A late walk around Airlie Beach. Collected newspapers before returning. A beautiful morning.

The sky was covered in light cloud by ten. Total change from early morning.

Some bacon in the freezer. Two rashers. More than I thought. So chop up some bacon, have it with a fried egg, and fried tomato. That sounds like a lunch plan.

The dinner plan seems to have devolved to a fruit course. Of sliced strawberries. That was pretty healthy until I added the chocolate ice cream and chocolate dipping sauce. Tasted good.


Released yes. @JedKnight_: Hurray! The @ATO_gov_au has released a Mac version of E-Tax! It's a EOFY Miracle! But does it work well?

*^%#@ Printers

I tried to print ANZAPA on the cheap Brother 2130 LED printer I have, once I found the power lead. No response. Located a power switch on the printer. Lights came on. No printing response. Looked for an Ethernet cable. No Ethernet port on the printer. OK, it was a cheap printer. Found a USB cable, not connected to anything. Cable will not reach the Apple Time Capsule. Moved Time Capsule. Plugged printer in to USB port on the Time Capsule. No response. Sigh!

So, just how did I last use the printer? If I actually used it at all. Maybe I had plugged the USB cable direct to the computer? How 20th Century!

Moved MacBook Air to floor next to printer. Plugged in USB. Now it works. Take guesses about second side printing. Got it right first go. Did my 27 copies, double sided, of 8 pages. I do not yet seem to have run out of toner. For a printing effort, this is going pretty well.

In case you did not realise. I hate printers.

Now to collate. Find a stapler. And some staples. At last, all done.


I ended up with nine stacks of six Coke cans end to end. Took a fair bit of silicone sealant. It is all getting very boring. However now I have to wait for the silicone to set. Even more boring.


I finally got around to uploading my blog musings. This is easy, because I long ago wrote a script to do FTP automatically (except for starting it).

While on a roll, I also uploaded all the revised material I did on the Whitsunday Terraces web site. I seem to have been using a commercial package, Yummy FTP. It seems it had been a real long time since I did that.

Kevin Rudd A Complete Fraud

An article in The Spectator. Kevin Rudd: a complete and utter fraud. I have long wondered just how anyone can trust Rudd. His own party did not seem to.

Friday 5 July 2013


I was awake a little after five, so I got up and checked the sky. It may be sufficiently clear to be able to see the International Space Station pass over just before six. Yes, a very nice five minute pass.

The new toaster would not work this morning. Turning it upside down and thumping it got it started. I am hoping it was just crumbs in a sensor. Got to have one slice of raisin toast with my hot chocolate this morning.

A long walk along the Bicentennial walking path along the seaside to Canonvale. Then to Bunnings hardware, which made over five kilometres. Bunnings has Corflute plastic sheet, and it has pool fencing fill in panels. I think I have a plan coming together here. I stopped at Target and got some underwear and cotton shorts (replacing those the washing machine has destroyed). Coles yielded only a few bananas. Then the walk back over the hills, by which time I was starting to get tired. Collected a newspaper. Over 9 kilometres, 14,212 steps.

Contemplated laundry. Did not get past throwing things at the washing machine. I guess that is deferred until Saturday. My legs are really starting to feel the walk.

Contemplating an early lunch. I have a little left over bacon, and a tomato to go with the last egg. That worked well.

There was continued pile driving through the day from the Marina area.

The international space station was visible around 7:11 p.m. Nice view, but only for a minute or two before it got to shadow.


Watched the International Space Station ISS pass over Airlie Beach at 5:52 a.m. Nice 5 minute pass. Never see Chinese space station.

Just gambling. @cjoye: RBA governor’s interest rate quip costs traders dearly Who cares what punters think?

Head of Aussie Army speech against sexual abuse written by his transgender speech writer. Awesome.


I am getting some timeouts on a numeric ping. Email items are failing to come in because email speed is below 1K/s. In short, dial up is faster than ADSL. Then, abruptly, it speeds up again so you can use it. No idea why.

Retirement Villages Group

I note Retirement Villages Group has placed 27 villages on the market in an attempt by the A$533 million group to exit the market. These are mostly in Victoria. Sizes are 60 to 300 independent living units, and prices are between $2 million and $20 million. FKP manage the villages, and have many retirement holdings. Ernst and Young are handling the sale. Valuations for all the villages FKP own or manage is A$1.5 billion, with A$830 million directly owned, but valuations are likely to reduce. Especially if Stockland make a significant writedown of their A$1.2 billion holdings, which are believed to be overvalued by 30%.

Saturday 6 July 2013


It was too overcast to have a chance to see the International Space Station at 5:06 a.m.

Walked through the markets, which were not as extensive as last week, but not too bad. Chatted with Michael, Glenn, Rex, Adriaan and others each at their respective stalls. Ate breakfast on the main street, as my usual breakfast folks were ill and did not attend.

Collected newspapers, mainly to support the newsagent. I think newspapers will be dead this decade.

Dropped down to the office and saw Greg. He is concerned because Rose is missing. I thought Rose had already left, until I saw her this morning. I suspect she and Chad are doing the last of their cleaning, in advance of moving the last of their stuff.

Dropped in and said hello to Ron. As expected, he was intending to watch the game on TV. However I do not like to not issue an invitation.


An early arrival by Michael, who could not stay for all that long. Jonathan and Josie arrived pretty much direct from their boat, and accepted champagne. Rex and Myra arrived as Michael left, and accepted orange juice. Then Glenn arrived, and accepted a red. A little later Jim turned up, and also accepted a red. No sign of John or Greg, but both were always a little unlikely.

There was a real delay in getting the food. I could not get through to Beagle's Pizza from about 7:15 until 7:45. I had been late phoning them. I bought three pizza and three garlic bread. Had a left over garlic bread, and three slices of pizza. So the quantities were not too bad. Everyone headed off a little after ten.

I am biased, but it seemed like a good party to me. I have a little of the second bottle of champagne left, and a bit more red than I desire. I must try to remember to press any open bottle of red on Rex as he leaves.

Solar Charger

I knew my iPhone was well down on power. At 10:30 p.m. it was down to 20%. I connected it to the Jaycar solar charger. We will see how much the Jaycar unit can pump into it in the next half hour or so. Charging conditions during the overcast day were not good, so I have no idea how much charge I accumulated on either solar charger.

After a half hour, iPhone is at 48%. This is going well.

Sunday 7 July 2013


I was up at 4 a.m. or before. Drinking at a party is not really compatible with good sleep for me these days. I should have remembered to suggest either Rex or Jim take the remains of the red with them.

I went for a morning walk after six.

About a three kilometre walk. I took some more photos of the newly signposted Woolworths site behind Magnum's bar. There are more construction sheds there than I expected. Maybe it is a larger project than just a small Woolworths store?

Solar Charger

I checked how the solar charger was going at 3:45 a.m. After bringing the iPhone 4 to 48% charge in the first half hour, the Jaycar charger was no longer charging, according to the phone. Phone battery levels had dropped from at least 48% down to 40%.

I connected the WakaWaka solar charger instead. After a half hour, the WakaWaka had raised the iPhone battery charge from 40% to 70%. At which point, the WakaWaka shut down. That was at 4:20 a.m.

In short, even using two chargers, I can not sustain iPhone and iPad use from tropical winter sunlight when there is cloud. Looks like I need a substantially larger charger. This is not an unexpected result. However I did get away with almost a week of use on my iPhone without using mains charging.

Now looking through Lithium battery catalogues. Which reminds me, must check on solar ink style cells.


Looks like Google organic search is just about dead. Google is just another advertising spammer.

A bit slow to do it, but much better phrased than when I dumped Facebook long ago. @JohnBirmingham

Water Supply

There had been some sputtering of the water taps as I got ready for my walk around 6:30 a.m. Turned out there was a burst water main at Barnacle Terrace, just next to where it had burst about six months previously. Looks like the digger crew will end up pulling up the recently replaced driveway there. What a mess.

Started laundry when I returned, since I still had water. The water supply issues make this a more exciting domestic activity than usual. I guess I got lucky with this.

The water supply was off when I checked just prior to 1 p.m. Seems this water pipe replacement job is taking a lot longer than expected. The workers originally thought 8:30 a.m. The water returned about an hour later.

Monday 8 July 2013

Leaving Airlie Beach

I was up around 5 a.m. which seems about my usual time. Got as much work done as I could between breakfast and preparing to leave. Then off to the bus transit terminal. The bus arrived at seven, left soon after. Usual stop at Delta, outside Bowen. Refuel at Guthalungra. Traffic stops for highway construction delayed it, also as usual. Got to Townsville a half hour late, at midday.


A lunch at Sizzler with Jean. They were offering a single salad bar trip with a large plate, plus a small (130 gram) bit of rump steak with chips, plus either soup or dessert, for around $28 for both of us. That seemed a fairly generous meal, given the salad bar has a lot of choices. The place did not seem all that busy on the Monday, which seems a pity when they offer good deals.

Checked Super AMart for small beds. Or something similar. Not having any luck at all. I checked their light fittings as well. Nothing of much use in that range either. This searching of the unobtainable in shops is getting pretty depressing.

My Teva sandals have just about disintegrated. The bottom is most of the way off one sandal. Not looking very good on the other. Find the shoe glue.


Cops out of control in USA?

Just the thing for your secret lair. A wooden pipe organ desk, with secret compartments.

Smart people in ALP and LNP all saying they are best for Australia. How come we always end up with the same arseholes in charge?

I have fibre. @terryfrost: Copper corrodes. Fibre doesn't. End of subject #qanda It broke in four years. Still broken.

Genuine OptiComm PON fibre in Greenfield “@terryfrost: @ericlindsay The fibre you have is in your muesli, ;-)” Stopped working in December.

Carlyle Gardens

A walk around Carlyle Gardens with Jean, two kilometres at a slow pace, wearing new sandals. The wallabies are acting silly. The GPS in my phone was wrong this morning. It was still wrong on this walk. When we returned, I shut down all the apps that were running, in the hope it self corrects (it did not). Dropped the accumulated Whitsunday Times in to Neil.

Too much physical mail on hand. Took a fair while to read through it all.

Tuesday 9 July 2013


I was up at 5:30 a.m. after finally getting a decent night sleep.

My weight was up, way up over the week, to 71.1 kilograms. Indulgences at Airlie Beach are entirely to blame. Parties, left over pizza and booze from parties, and having a stock of ice cream. This weight increase despite a 9 kilometre walk one of the days. It is almost always intake that is the problem with weight.

Off to the pharmacist with Jean. We both had prescriptions to collect. While there a guy came in and had a fit. I was in the next aisle over and did not realise what was happening in time to try to catch him, and he went down with a bit of a crash. With a medical centre next door, and people who knew him nearby he got good attention. He was in recovery by the time we left, and the ambulance had arrived to take him home, since he would be in poor shape the rest of the day.

Off to Centrelink, for Jean to tell them travel dates. Both the people who attended to her claimed she was just trying to make them jealous. They had a wonderful sign near the entrance, with three instructions on it. One instruction was not to take photographs inside, to preserve the privacy of the clients. This in an office with a minimum of 16 security cameras visible in the ceiling. Right. Privacy.

I walked over to Sams to check furniture. Then checked inside Willows for furniture. No luck at all. I did see some cheap black toner for the Brother 2130 printer in BigW.

Walked way back to the Reading Cinema complex, which opened at 9:30 a.m. I was able to get a flyer with the session times. Not going to work at all well for today. Perhaps I can go tomorrow?

Walked back to Willows. Caught up with Jean at her car, after she shopped in Coles.

Lunch at the restaurant. The rack of lamb probably should have been called lamb chops, and was very tasty. Nice load of mint gravy and vegetables with it.

Jean and I took the two kilometre walk around the village around five, on an overcast evening. My Runkeeper GPS readings on the iPhone is still totally useless.

Had two slices of cheese, some chocolate, and a glass of milk for dinner. Hungry when I went to bed after eleven. I did prepare the laundry to run first thing in the morning.


A plasma thruster for Cube Satellite spacecraft on Kickstarter.

I hope Apple use Helvetica Neue not Helvetica Neue Light. Eyes my age can not read the elegant Light.

Awarded Hero status. Glad to see you drop FB publicly. @JohnBirmingham: Deactivated Facebook. Feels good.

Privacy International files legal action against UK government over PRISM and Tempora cyber snooping

How many secret courts does the USA need?

iPhone Sleep

I had a bad GPS track on my iPhone since Monday morning. Killing off the Runkeeper application showing the symptoms had not been sufficient to fix it.

During the evening I backed up the iPhone. Then I used a lengthy press on the Sleep Wake button to bring up the real Sleep function of the iPhone. This is indicated by a Red slider asking if you really want it to Sleep. A bit later, I used another lengthy press to Wake it, which brings up the Apple logo, and starts the moderately slow awakening process. This is often enough to straighten out minor problems.

Be warned. To do this, you need both your numeric iPhone password (if used), and also your rarely used SIM password.

Impact of CO2 fertilization on maximum foliage cover across the globe's warm, arid environments by Randall J. Donohue, Michael L. Roderick, Tim R. McVicar, Graham D. Farquhar in Geophysical Research Letters, published online 19 June 2013.

Satellite observations reveal a greening of the globe over recent decades. The role in this greening of the “CO2 fertilization” effect—the enhancement of photosynthesis due to rising CO2 levels is yet to be established. The direct CO2 effect on vegetation should be most clearly expressed in warm, arid environments where water is the dominant limit to vegetation growth. Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analyzed to remove the effect of variations in precipitation, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilization effect is now a significant land surface process.

Wednesday 10 July 2013


I was awake just after four in the morning. Got up and checked my computer. Decided I might just as well get up since I was unlikely to get back to sleep. Not all that cold this morning.

My weight had dropped to 69.7 kilograms. However a lot of that was probably dehydration, rather than anything meaningful.

I switched on the laundry already in the washing machine just prior to six. It should be done by 7:30 a.m. ready to hang on the line.

Off to Willows with Jean. She had to head off to physiotherapy. I wandered around to BigW and got some toner for the black and white Brother printer.

More walking, across to sunland for a party pie and a mini sausage roll for breakfast, then to the Reading cinemas for movies.

Walked back home in the afternoon. Then took a walk with Jean back to the pub for the usual Wednesday session. I hear Ron is being treated for a mild heart attack, and has not returned home. No sign of Ian. So only Jeff was there when I arrived. Ray arrived around five, with an old article from Silicon Chip on the invention of the integrated circuit. Harry got to the bar later, and was taken away early by his wife. Lots of bowlers passed through.


Typical male. @TheTweetOfGod: I can beat up Thor any day of the week. Including his. Just another almighty bully. Grow up!

Internet Download

I started an internet download of a 4.06GB movie last night at 11 p.m. I just completed this morning at 7 a.m. So my actual download speed is around 500 megabytes per hour. About 138KB/s or about 1.1 Mbps. About 17 times the best dialup can manage. Still way too slow for streaming video of anything.

The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger was a hoot. The deadly serious and very naive Lone Ranger, only survivor of a massacre of his fellow Texas Rangers. Tonto a totally failed Comanche. A wonderful mix of adventure and comedy, with frequent nods to the old cinema series. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Man of Steel

A reboot of the Superman movie. Yet again. Best part. Underwear no longer warn outside costumes.

Thursday 11 July 2013


I was awake before five, so I got up and started using the computer. It was not particularly cold inside this morning, so I imagine we had some cloud cover. It was down to 18°C outside. It was still dark well after six. I loath winter.

My weight is up again, to 70.3 kilograms. I just can not get my weight under control enough to get down to 65 kilograms.

Went to the eye doctor near Hyde Park with Jean. While she waited I went for a 1.8 kilometre walk. She was still waiting, so I went for a 3.3 kilometre walk. I was basically along to drive her car while she recovered from the eye drops.

We went to Sizzlers for lunch. We each had another of their small meals, like on Monday. The single salad bar visit, along with a 130 gram steak. I had chips (small serve). Plus dessert, although the fake vanilla ice cream was not coming out of the machine. We had a $5 off coupon from the previous visit, so the meals for the two of us were under $23. I thought that was pretty good. It certainly matched our diet and weight loss program better than a regular meal. We had basically dropped a lot of restaurant meals due to serves being too large.

One thing that was very noticeable at Sizzlers was the number of obese customers. Sadly including some who were very young.

Went for a walk around Carlyle Gardens this afternoon. Had to stop at the bench half way around. Still that made another two kilometres, so I have done more than seven kilometres today. I fear this will not have reduced my weight any, after that lunch.


Saw Man of Steel born again reboot of the Superman movie. Best part. Underwear no longer warn outside costumes.

Obama signs executive order to allow shut down of all US communications by Homeland Security.


I seem to have hit a time in the evening, after eight, when the internet is incredibly slow. Seven or eight minutes for a 60 megabyte download of an app from Apple.

Is it any wonder I just shut down any video straight away. After a while I tend to identify sites that bring up videos for immediate streaming. I tend to banish such sites, never to be seen again.

Friday 12 July 2013


I was up around a quarter to six. A dark winter morning. A little chilly, but not cold like some days. A banana and glass of milk for breakfast.

My weight remains stubbornly up at 70.3 kilograms. All that healthy salad is to blame.


When will the public unify against the political establishment? Australian Spring. #auspol

Fewer humans @newscientist: Our insectivorous future is hindered by more than just the yuck factor #yuck solution

PCWorld magazine closes paper edition after 30 years. Welcome to paperless world.

@mpesce: That damn UTS tower where @nicster works blocks my morning sun. IT MUST BE DESTROYED!!! #muahahahaahah Post tensioned concrete!

Geothermal power production increases earthquakes. So how clean and green is that?

Pacific Rim

I can not see how a movie about giant Jaegers robots battling giant Kaiju monsters from the deep can possibly go wrong. Great special effects and CGI. I saw the 1 p.m. session

Saturday July 2013


I was awake sometime after four, but did not get up until after five. Not a good start to the day.

My weight remains constant at 70.3 kilograms. Proving real hard to lose weight.

I walked over to the Willows shopping centre just prior to eight. This was 3.5 kilometres, so Jean arrived somewhat before me in her car. We walked around the shopping centre for a while, and bought a handful of items. As usual, the specials I was after were not available. Nor were substitutes.

Now working on my ANZAPA contribution. Done eight pages previously. However I wanted to include photos in the next item. I find photos tedious. By late afternoon I had four pages done with photographs.

We took a very slow two kilometre evening walk around Carlyle Gardens. Very slow. More than 30 minutes. Still, at least we did walk.

The curlews are carrying on this evening. Usually they do not start wailing until early (very early) morning.


No signature on VISA card in Australia? I have so many PINs already that it will be a lot easier to just avoid using VISA.

What the TSA has in common with the NSA: unreasonable searches. A violation of citizens' privacy and rights.

I use a cheap automated liquid soap dispenser for routine hand washing. Does that reduce bacterial load on my hands? Maybe not. See Bacterial Hand Contamination and Transfer after Use of Contaminated Bulk-Soap-Refillable Dispensers by Carrie A. Zapka, Esther J. Campbell, Sheri L. Maxwell, Charles P. Gerba, Michael J. Dolan, James W. Arbogast and David R. Macinga. Basically bulk refilling is way more likely to result in contaminated liquid soap than is using sealed, single use liquid soap dispensers.

Sunday 14 July 2013


I was awake a little after five. It sounds like it is raining this cool dark morning.

My weight has dropped a little, to 70.1 kilograms. Still way too high.

Giant eggs on a slice of toast for breakfast, with half a fried tomato. Special treat for us on Sunday. Well, that showed how to diet!

We went for a two kilometre walk around Carlyle Gardens this morning. Only a short stop this time, although we are still slow.

Late in the afternoon we went for another walk around Carlyle Gardens. Our pace was better this time, returning in well under 30 minutes. That was good.


Damn. High fructose corn syrup promotes weight gain. That is a diet problem.


I started downloading two updated apps from the iTunes App store. Despite only being 40MB or so each, it seems to be taking about six minutes to download them. Internet at Carlyle Gardens sucks dogs balls for speed.

Printer Toner

I hate printers. My Brother HL3045 seems to have run out of black toner. I am absolutely certain I had already replaced the black toner starter cartridge. I do not seem to have any black toner on hand. I do seem to have a full set of colour toner. If only the printer would give you some sort of toner warning. The printer application is designed to do this, but can not seem to handle it when connected via Ethernet to the Time Capsule.

Monday 15 July 2013


I was awake around five. Finally managed to get a start on the computer a little later. Not liking how chilly it is inside.

Weight is now down to 69.8 kilograms, which at least is slightly under the marker I have set for this month.

We set off for Willows after breakfast (marmalade on toast for me). As we entered I checked Woolworths. The item I tried to find on Saturday was there, still on special. That was a good start. I found the Brother HL3045 black toner cartridge I needed in BigW. I had thought they would have them, since I had noticed some of the colour toner last week. Not sure I like the $113 price for a 2200 page cartridge (the second of these printers cost $100 complete). However I do want to get ANZAPA printed. Next time around Willows I also got bread rolls from Brumbys bread shop. Trying to use up cyclone supplies, and there is an old tin of salmon to use up. A highly successful morning of shopping, for someone who usually can not find anything wanted.


@RichardDawkins: OK, which `theology' should I study? Thor got rid of the Frost Giants, and starred in two movies. Obvious choice is Thor!

“@RichardDawkins: I may be wrong to suggest that `theology' is a haven for fakes and charlatans. Fraud? What about deluded and delusional?

Bill Humphries tweets but then so is Fox News, the technology press, the Texas GOP, and any number of early stage startups.

@whump: @RichardDawkins I never said deluded, delusional or fraud was exclusive to religion. It is a broad church.

@terryfrost: Here's an idea, why don't WE do things with our minerals? #qanda More blast furnaces and aluminium smelters. Good idea.

Brother HL3045CN Printer

I had trouble, as usual. Printer are the bane of my computing life. The sooner people stop using paper, the better I will like it.

The Brother HL3045CN printer is up on a high shelf in a closet, for lack of any other flat space. Getting the toner cartridges out means disconnecting it from the Apple Time Capsule Ethernet, and getting the heavy printer down to the floor where I can open it. Messy. Plus the Ethernet cable is not long enough to test it on the floor. So I have to put it back on the high shelf.

Something went wrong with the alignment of the new black cartridge. I had a black mark down the extreme lower left side of the pages. Nothing I jiggled seemed to remove it. I had to take the printer down again, and reseat everything. I was not amused. Luckily that did seem to fix the problem.

At least, it fixed it for maybe 20 copies. Then the black mark problem was back. Wonderful! Just bloody wonderful!

I got all of the printing completed. Left them on the kitchen table in many piles ready to collate. So what happened next? A bottle of water got spilt on them, that is what happened. See why I hate printing?


I have a very slow internet connection around 6 p.m. Uploads are taking forever. Downloads only slightly better. I would really like the NBN to be something other than a mirage.

NSA Prism

I sent an email to my USA based web and mail server host, telling them I was unhappy about NSA PRISM snooping of the internet. I am looking for a mail host in a country that does not snoop on my internet connection.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Early Morning

I was up at 4:30 a.m. and not liking it at all. Too cold. Weight is down only slightly to 69.7 kilograms. Have to finish packing. Not much to do, except computers. I turned off all the other equipment in the house.

We departed in Jean's car at 7:45 a.m. Dropped a bag of rubbish in the bins on the way out. Mailed ANZAPA in the street box.

Leave Townsville

Our Qantas flight QF967 from Townsville to Brisbane was intended to leave around 9:30 a.m. and got away a few minutes late due to delay in when they could land in Brisbane. There was some sort of sports team on board. From Manly, maybe Sea Eagles? Some of them did not look like a good fit in the economy seats. We had a skinny young fellow in row 20, so we had space. The 737-800 is actually a fairly nice aircraft, in my opinion, as long as the flight is not more than the few hours it takes to get to Brisbane.

The snacks were Byron Bay triple chocolate biscuits. I got a Coke, something I will no buy for myself. Later I also managed to get a bottle of water. I had wanted some sort of water contain for my stay.

Not a long stay in Brisbane, by the time we were out of row 20. Time for essentials. Jean was able to get a yoghurt, in case she could not eat whatever was served on the next flight.

Qantas flight QF525 Brisbane to Sydney was due to board 12:05 p.m., and managed to board about five minutes late. Left Brisbane only a little late. We again had the Manly team on board. They certainly looked fit. To my amazement, the flight attendants managed to serve a hot almost there chicken (there was a lot of veg surrounding whatever chicken was present) wrap on this much shorter flight. I scored another Coke, and put it in my bag to have later as a treat.


A boring airport, which is better than an exciting one. We caught the expensive ($15.90) airport train. If you only have a bag each it is pretty convenient, being frequent and reasonably quick. I carried both our bags on board, which is a bit awkward. Jean handled her small wheeled carry on bag. I hope she does not have too many problems with two bags in her further travels.

We went to Town Hall. There is an elevator to the concourse. Then we can take the underground shopping area which emerges on the surface streets a block from the Waldorf Apartments. It is a very convenient location.

Jean made a shopping list, which was mostly empty. I went to the Coles underground at World Square. Got rained on, which pretty much killed plans to attend anything else that evening. Found what was claimed to be fresh squeezed Australian orange juice at a reasonable price. Could not locate any decent milk, so I got their $2 milk. I also got some Helga's bread (only brand they had), sliced ham, a Brie cheese, a tomato and two bananas. We will not starve.

Plaintive message from Jean pointing out that overpriced Pepperjack Shiraz goes well with her emergency brie. There was a LiquorLand next to the Coles. The wine cost nearly twice what the food cost.

Jean sent me out later, actually about five, to buy a kebab for us to share for dinner. That actually worked pretty well, although I had to forego any chilli or similar in the order.

I kept falling asleep through the evening. Getting up too early does that to you.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Morning Walk

I was awake far too early. Got up around five, since it was obvious I would not get back to sleep. No internet connections in the Waldorf Apartments. So I used my mobile connected iPad to read RSS feeds and Twitter.

I walked up to the Apple Store just before eight. Not a lot of new equipment, but some interesting peripherals. I took photos of each box to show Jean. Collected email using their free WiFi.

Breakfast at McDonalds. A treat is one thing, but I need to find someplace healthier for breakfast other days.

Checked George's Camera Store, when they opened at nine. They want $65 for a fake Fujitsu Finepix camera battery, $95 for an original. You have to be joking. I don't think so.

Alas, the Haighs chocolate store all open early, or at least by nine. I avoiding entering to check. However there is one in the Strand Arcade, and another even larger one in the Queen Victoria Building.

I went for a long walk with Jean. Through Darling Harbour as far as we could get, to the new casino construction site. Then back to the bridge, so we were over four kilometres by then. Jean had an ulterior motive. There is a Movenpick ice cream shop on the other side of the bridge. So we stopped and had a double scoop each.

Then through Darling Harbour past Chinatown to Paddys Markets. The food court there had sushi, which Jean bought for her lunch. By the time we reached the Waldorf Apartments, we had walked six kilometres.

Jean had lunch and then collapsed on the bed for most of the afternoon.

Afternoon Walk in Sydney

I mailed Jean's envelope about two o'clock. Luckily there was a mail box at the Hungry Jack's fast food place diagonally across George Street.

Then a walk down to Broadway, and the old UTS tower building. It is not as far as I thought, well under a kilometre. The elevators seem more of a mess than ever. It looks as if they are replacing them. All the rooms have changed. Very few of the people I knew are still there, and most of these have changed rooms. I found no-one there.

Decided to extend my walk, so I continued along Broadway to the 80 Bay Street shopping centre across from Sydney University. Located the Apple Store on the top floor. This let me confirm that not only were the third party goods the same as in the previous Apple store, they were even in the same order on the shelves. So if I decide to get anything, I can go to whichever store is convenient at the time.

No movies listed at the Hoyts cinema that sounded interesting (and that I had not seen in Townsville). That was slightly disappointing, but not unexpected. I also checked out JB HiFi in the shopping centre. I am not really seeing much new science fiction. I suspect I simply look in the wrong spots.

Walked back along Broadway and George Street towards the centre of Sydney. I stopped at the old Capitol Building, and the various computer stores there. I did not find anything of interest, but by then I was tired, so I may have missed something. There sure seems a lot more phone and tablet activity now.

Got back to the Waldorf Apartments. Total distance must be at least another 3.5 kilometres, so I am up to over ten kilometres for the day. Moves says over 20,000 steps. My feet feel like it too.

I had some ham and tomato on Helga bread for dinner, as I had not had anything at lunch except ice cream. No pepper available for my sandwich, which did not help. The Helga wholemeal bread tastes like shit, especially compared to Brumbys bread. Not impressed at all. Maybe that was why we dropped getting the Helga bread a decade or so ago?


Walked 20,000 steps in Sydney today. Seems like most of them were at traffic lights. Bah, humbug. Internet can replace cities.

What sort of shoes do not expand to allow for your toes getting longer? Shoes are so 20th Century. Sandals solve that.

.@alicektg: Turning ebook into ebola, I'm not sure what you're trying to say Apple #autocorrect Maybe DRM on ePub is toxic?

Thursday 18 July 2013

Morning in Sydney

I was up a little after five. Sydney seems very dark at that hour, apart from city lights left on in buildings. I read Twitter and on my iPad, and tried to catch up with email. Not much luck on that.

I made a cup of hot chocolate using the Nestle hot chocolate. It is insipid crap that is mostly sugar and chemicals, with about 10% actual cocoa. I will not make the mistake of ever buying that again. However the reason I bought it was that the $2 milk sold by Woolworths and Coles is also insipid crap, which needs flavour. I was not sure I could find any decent milk in the big city, and could not see any at Coles, World Square.

I went for a walk to the Apple Store in George Street, about a kilometre away, where they have free WiFi download capacity. Way too many traffic lights in the way, so the walk would have been slow even if my feet were not hurting. There was an item I wanted to download that was probably too large to handle with the data available on my Telstra Mobile phone account. When I brought up the missing item, the time available in which to download it had expired. So that was a bit of a waste of time.

I stopped at McDonalds and got a slice of raisin toast for $1.50. I had not recalled that one gives you a plastic knife and a satchel of butter. It was a heap more convenient at the ones that buttered the toast for you. I stopped near a garbage bin to butter my slice of raisin toast. Not really an adequate breakfast.

My toes are hurting on my left foot. I thought it might have been a toenail scratching the next toe, now they are confined by the uncomfortable Florsheim shoes. As an aside, all shoes are uncomfortable. Florsheim merely the least uncomfortable I have found in Australia. I was limping by the time I returned to the Waldorf Apartments. I can not even see what the toe problem is. Once my shoes are off, I do not seem to have a problem. I loath shoes.

Jean Leaves for USA

I helped Jean take her large bag to the International Terminal around eleven. We have an easy way to get to the Town Hall railway station, through one of the underground entrances a block from the Waldorf Apartments. We went to the ticket office rather than attempt to use the ticket machines. There was no-one waiting at the office, whereas the machines were crowded. We used the lift to the lower platform. A train was already in the station, so we rushed straight on to it.

A nice fast trip on the train. Lots of escalators up from the International terminal station. Jean was able to go to the business checkin, so her bag was on the way within a very short time. Once she had the form filled in Jean went through the fast lane.

I received a message from the business lounge while I was approaching Town Hall station on the return train. She had found food, and wine, I had another message that Jean was in her seat in business class.

Afternoon in Sydney

I went for another walk around Sydney in the afternoon. It was a bit of a waste. I did not really see anything interesting in the many hiking and camping stores near this area. I also checked all the computer stores near Queen Victoria building, and also looked in Jaycar electronics. I really was hoping to find something interesting. Checked Galaxy bookshop, which is much ensmalled. I am doing very poorly on science fiction.

Went out again seeking food towards evening. I checked Coles, without seeing anything that appealed. I also looked in JB HiFi at iPad keyboards. Fppd places were closing. I eventually bought a ham, cheese and tomato roll from a place about to close. Better than biscuits.

Internet via Hotspot

I have been connecting to the internet via my iPhone WiFi hotspot. For some reason every now and then I lose access, and have to switch the phone back on. Sometimes I also need to select the iPhone access point again. Weird.

Friday 19 July 2013

Morning in Sydney

I was awaken around 5:45 a.m. by a message on my phone from Jean. She had reached San Francisco, and was through Customs and Immigration. On the other hand, the international SIM for her second phone was not working. I guess I will hear from her when she reaches Portland for OSCon, the Open Source software conference where she is promoting the books she edits for LibraOffice, the free Microsoft Office replacement.

I went for a walk before eight. First to the Apple Store in George Street. They also have the Logitech slim keyboard for the Apple iPad, but JB WiFi is a few dollars cheaper.

Continued my walk along George Street, eventually reaching Circular Quay. By walking in the concrete canyons of the city, I avoided the rising sun. I figured I could get to Darling Harbour and have pleasant winter sun behind me if I headed along Argyle Street. You run into cliffs, and construction barriers. I had to divert a fair way to get to a street that would take me to the opening to Darling Harbour. Eventually managed it.

My cunning plan after walking such a distance was to treat myself to a Movenpick ice cream for breakfast. However the vast majority of food establishments at Darling Harbour did not open for breakfast, or thought opening late was in order. I finally went to a McDonalds, which had the merit of being open. Asked for a raisin toast. That small outlet did not sell them. I was forced, forced I say, to have a bacon and eggs. That is about a third of my daily calories.

I finally lurched back to the Waldorf Apartments well after ten. Runkeeper thinks I covered about 8 kilometres. I do not think so. The GPS is just lost in the buildings.

Sydney Afternoon with Friends

I set out for the University of Technology at 11:30 a.m. This gave me another bit of a walk. Gordon from Computer Science was waiting for me at Building 10. We grabbed a place at the Cafe 10. I had also organised to see Matthew from Sydney University. Matthew arrived a little after I reached the Cafe 10. I was sticking to a light meal, so I just had a small fruit salad.

Gordon has taken on teaching a course in programming iOS (Apple iPhone and iPad), so he was able to say a lot about not enjoying Objective C, nor the XCode IDE. Especially as he is happy with Java, C++ and the excellent Microsoft IDE. Sounds like a good move to actually be teaching such a course. Not sure what you can do about all the text being out of date. I noticed that when I bought my iOS programming books in Melbourne a few years ago (I assume RMIT was teaching iOS).

Matthew has been doing sysadmin with ACFR at Sydney University for the past five years. I was able to walk with him back to his office after lunch. Got to see the work ACFR were doing on autonomous vehicles. As standard hardware gets more and more available, higher level software is getting the sharp end of autonomous vehicles. ACFR had miniature submarines for marine research. One was lost for a while a few months ago. There were a couple of neat robots each built on the chassis of a modified quad wheel Segway. They had sensing gear not unlike the Google cars. There was a lot of work being done with radar sensors, some at unusual frequencies. There were a bunch of very modified model helicopters. However it looks like big model planes might be more effective. I had a wonderful time seeing these devices.

During this time I had a call from Lewis. He was in town visiting Fox for a crew party. Lewis was kind enough to bring with him the really neat Avalook signs he made for our house. Cut out of an aluminium coated plastic using his laser cutter. Great stuff, and it was nice to catch up with Lewis, even if only briefly.

I walked back to the Waldorf Apartments, which added a fair bit more distance on Runkeeper. My feet are wearing off. Plus Sydney is getting uncomfortably cool.


I could not face going out again for a meal. Drank water. Drank orange juice. Ate the left over from last night. Ate two biscuits, with ham and cheese. Had a small glass of wine, since there was still some in the bottle.

Since Jean was not around, I could indulge in watching TV. So I did. I regret it. The absolute crap that passes for entertainment on TV is appalling. I thought that the TV I saw in country areas was the unrepresentative swills from the cutting room floor. It is not. Whether a great capital city like Sydney, or a small country town, the TV selection is essentially the same. Unmitigated crap.

Saturday 20 July 2013

Morning in Sydney

I took a morning walk around seven or so. It was a little chilly out this time. I wish my silk jacket had a functioning zipper. Had a couple of slices of raisin toast at the McDonalds near the Apple Store, that being one of the few places open. Then I went to darling Harbour and walked across the bridge. Tried to help an elderly lost traveller find the Menzies. Luckily someone else was heading that way and offered to point him in the right direction when much closer.

Went off later to JB HiFi and bought myself one of the Logitech iPad slimline keyboards for the full size iPad. They were a few dollars cheaper there. Rejected the DVDs on offer, but may reconsider that on Sunday.

Failed to find any decent priced laundry powder at Coles. I did buy myself some fruit for food on Sunday, when I expect Sydney will be closed up like a country town.

John Visits

I had organised to see John for lunch. He phoned just after midday. I went down to Liverpool street, and eventually spotted him wheeling his bicycle along the street. He was seeking a coffee, but rejected the Nescafe that comes with the room, in favour of a coffee from one of the shops. We sat around the room and chatted for a fair while. John gave me a CD with a bunch of his writing. Mind you, Apple no longer have optical drives on their computers.

We left to seek Japanese good. The first cafe was way too breezy for John, who was dressed for cycling. We found another about a block away. His beef teriyaki in a Bento box looked way to extensive. I had a salmon and avocado salad, which I later realised was inadequate after so many light meals.

I eventually accompanied John to Town Hall station, where there were a bunch of cyclists getting ready for their social ride.

Later I walked to Paddy's Market, mostly to get more walking in the day. I did find some laundry detergent in the nearby IGA store. Spent a fair amount of time wandering through Paddy's, without really seeing anything I wanted. It really seemed to be that the West is the anus of China. All their shit ends up in markets.

Returned to the Waldorf Apartments and started my laundry. When it got to the drying cycle, the dryer was so noisy I could not tolerate staying near it. Just as well I decided against laundry on Sunday morning. It would have been uncivilised to neighbours. So I went for another walk.

Next I really sinned. I deliberately went to Town Hall, and emerged at Haigh's Chocolates. Bought a load of emergency chocolate. Plus some chips cheap from a ship closing for the evening. The whole Queen Victoria Building concourse was closing down, despite it not even being six. I can not believe this hick town. They were even closing the entry doors. What an insane city.


I saw on the TV news that there had been multiple stabbings last night in central Sydney, near the area in which I am staying. I guess I hardly need to add that it seemed to be drunken young men mostly involved.

Sunday 21 July 2013

Sydney Morning

I was up around six thirty. Went for a walk up towards the Apple store. After some raisin toast for breakfast I continued until I could get down to the far entrance to Darling Harbour. As expected another failure to get any Movenpick ice cream. I got back to the Waldorf Apartments before nine.

There are some TV current affairs shows I like. I watched Insiders, and then Inside Business. Plus Meet the Press later. That was a very news like morning.


I met John and Diane when they arrived from Town Hall station. We sat around for a while chatting until it was time to seek some lunch. Alas, the Soup and More they recommended was closed on Sunday. It sounded a good place. We looked at the local pizza place, considered the Subway, and went into Town Hall station thinking the Woolworths may have ingredients. Not a lot of luck. We ended up having lunch at the cafe there. While John and Diane had a nice looking roast with vegetables, I tried to keep to lightweight stuff with a sandwich.

Back to the apartment, where we continued to chat until my visitors needed to return to the station for the long journey home.

Sydney Afternoon

I went for a walk about four, just to the JB HiFi in World Square. I finally located the ATM I knew was there, and withdrew money to pay the hotel. I did not want to pay the 1.5% surcharge for using a credit card.

Afterwards I went back to Paddy's Markets. This was all shutting down, since it was close to five. A bit disappointing how early everything closes in Sydney.

I bought a slice of pizza to supplement left over scraps for dinner. Bit of a cheat but I was hungry after scrimping on how much I ate for days.

Monday 22 July 2013


I was awake well before five. Not a good start to the day. Did not take a walk. Packed and read stuff on the computer. I should have taken a walk, as planned. On the other hand, it is cold in Sydney at the moment.

Left the Waldorf Apartments around 9:40 a.m. After walking to Town Hall station, I was able to get on a train after emerging from the lift to platform 6 pretty much instantly. So I was at the airport before ten.

Coping with the baggage label printer was an issue. The first few machines did not operate at all, but at least had a warning on screen that they were not operating. Finally got to one label printer that was working. JetStar had staff hovering to help those of us having problems. Joined the bag drop queue, which was a bit extensive. I found a passenger boarding pass lost on on the floor in the queue, so I made an announcement. A chap not far away was the passenger. I was through security around 10:30 a.m. That was fine.

Sydney Airport is pretty boring. I walked until I was bored with walking, and then found a quiet place to sit within reach of my gate. The free airport WiFi is a right pain to log into. Wants information. I gave them a sacrificial email address. We will see if they spam it.

Flight from Sydney

I am on JetStar JQ912 Sydney to Townsville, scheduled to leave at midday. It is due in to Townsville at 2:45 p.m.

Our flight actually left the ground around 12:30 p.m. Arrived at Townsville well after three. I did have an interesting flight. Chatted with a former boilermaker who runs a heavy steel fabrication outfit.

Towards the end of the flight I tried getting another photograph of Carlyle Gardens.

Once I located the correct car park I did not have much problem finding Jean's car. The street I wanted to use was blocked, so I had to go around the long way near the Domain shopping area. However I was back around four.

Carlyle Gardens Again

I unpacked, to the extent I easily could. Dunan trotted over to deliver a package left for Jean, which was kind of him. Collected the accumulated mail. Read and sorted as much mail as I could manage.

Visited Mary and Alan, taking with me a beer, since their regular afternoon party seemed to have started accreting. Also there Duncan, with Holger and Lexi soon arriving. John also came over (escaping screaming grandchild). Showed them my Grey Nomad (wine) hat, since the topic came up. That was a nice little break.

I snacked on trash food, since there was not much in the fridge. Not a good start for my return, but I seem to be too tired to do much else. I am now trying to stay awake until about ten, otherwise I will be awake again at 4 a.m. which is also not good.

Internet downloads seem to be running slowly. Just downloaded an update to Net News Wire. Now several minutes into it, despite it being less than 20 MB. Bah, humbug. Next I started all the App upgrades downloading.

Checked the movies scheduled at the Reading Cinema. Nothing new seemed available. Maybe next week?

National Broadband Network Policy

A readable version of the Coalition Broadband Policy. Less readable, the NBN background papers.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Carlyle Morning

I was awake well before five. Not a good start for the day, but probably inevitable given I had collapsed around ten.

My weight has gone up to 70.6 kilograms while I was away. Probably during the last day, when I could not resist chocolate or beer. However I am still hungry. This is not working well.

I started the laundry pretty early. I hope for fine weather, and that I can do two loads. However there are clouds in the sky. They do not really look like rain clouds, at least at dawn, but clouds are not helpful for laundry.

Hung out the first load of laundry, and then drove to Willows. Walked around and around, stopping to check various shops. Nothing interesting in JB WiFi. Could not find anything in the sundries shop, nor BigW or Woolworths. I had a brief delusion Coles had the ice cream I like on special, but not only was it not on special, they did not even have the chocolate obsession version. I got a few cherries, two bananas, and some orange juice. No decent milk. After my walk, I drove to the IGA and got long dated Misty Mountain milk.

Hung out more laundry. Subsequently got some of the laundry in, although it is not good drying weather.

The gardeners are spreading a shit (word chosen with care) load of mulch over the large gardens. They are looking good. The mowing contractors were also through. I should have thought about that before doing the laundry.

Lunch at a Pub with No Beer

I walked to the restaurant a little late. Paid Ray the $5 annual hobby workshop fee, on behalf of Jean. Chatted briefly with Dot. Stood in a queue with Jeff while a whole group of people failed to decide what they would like. Not all that unusual. I ordered my favourite, the rack of lamb, and managed to eat it all, including vegetables. I had a can of Coke with it.

The horror. A pub with no beer. The expired liquor license that had not been renewed by the Receiver, nor passed along to the operators, was now officially known. The pub can no longer serve alcohol. I had to drink Coke with lunch. After lunch I went to Reception and protested to Jo-ann, just so she had numbers of protestors.

and After

This liquor license is a known issue, and is a right mess. I have no idea what is going on. However I can say that a lot of the features that attracted us to Carlyle Gardens, such as the bar and restaurant, have been systematically removed.

We had a fibre optic TV feed at Carlyle Gardens, via an Opticomm fibre optic network. This provided hopes of a decent internet connection at some stage. Now we have no TV feed at all. Plus new work rules make it difficult to get an antenna on our roof. As a result our TV has not worked since December 2012. This really is unsatisfactory. What if there was something on TV worth viewing?

We have a solar hot water heater, which in our case works well. Others have not been happy with their solar hot water even from the start. However many people here, including our direct neighbour, now find that the solar hot water has failed. It seems too hard (or too expensive) to get anyone in to fix it.

The plans we saw when we first checked the place included assisted living apartments. There was that chance of moving while remaining in place when too feeble to live fully independent. Absolutely no sign of this ever happening now.

The plans we saw when we first checked the place included a nursing home. Absolutely no sign of this ever happening now.


I drove Jean's car back over to the restaurant to collect the glass shelves. Allan was too busy with licensing issue to give me access. At least I collected my shoulder bag, which I had accidentally left there at lunch time.

Dave called me mid afternoon to come over. So I drove over and collected the shelves, which Dave had already taken outside.

The shelves are pretty thick. They are all 256mm wide and have a single corner cut off. Three are 923mm long, while five are a metre long. Three of the metre long shelves have some cracking at the ends.

Now to work out what the best way to use them will be.


I walked over to the regular monthly Carlyle Gardens Computer Club InfoNite. Got there early, and chatted with various people. They must have had about 50 attending, despite popular presenter Peter Bennett being called away by work. Laurie started by presenting Under the ice when the tide goes out, Inuit crawling under the ice to grab mussels on the exposed sea floor. Insanity. This was followed as usual by an assortment of funnies. The new 1080p high definition projector is much more viewable.

Laurie talked about Facebook, and the merits of it for contacting family. In his case, also students he once taught, and now a success in the wider world. I thought he made a good case for the merits of social networks.

Scrapbooking was the next talk.

Scones and egg sandwiches. This time the scones came with blackcurrent jam, which was a sharper taste than usual, and went very well with them. Talked with Geoff and Ray, before walking home.

The threatened rain did not happen until I had been home several hours. I had the last of the old outdated orange juice to wash down my tablets. Resisted the impulse to add rum to it.

Royal Brat

If they strangled the last royalty with the guts of the last priest, and shoved them up the arse of the last prime minister I still would not care.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Carlyle Morning

I was up at around five. It is a cold morning, by tropical standards. Not impressed by cold. Outside thermometer reports under 15°C.

My weight remains stubbornly fixed at 70.6 kilograms. I need more walking, less eating.

Alas, at seven, the outside temperature was still around 15°C. Too chilly for me.

I went for my walk around Carlyle Gardens just before eight, and still got way too cold. I thought stepping up the pace would help for the 2.7 kilometres. It did not help enough. On the other hand, Moves thinks I ran 2868 paces, and only walked 736 steps. I have never had Moves think I ran any distance before during my walks.

Collected advertising flyers at the mail box area. Nothing on the Woolworths or BigW lists that I would want to buy. This is surely not good for retail?

Had banana, cherries and strawberries for breakfast. Not sufficiently substantial. Still hungry. Not good.

Sometime during the day I put shoe glue on the Teva sandals in the hope of getting the soles to stick to them. Very messy.

Apple Third Quarter Results

A small increase in iPhone numbers to 31 million sales, against 26 million in the same quarter last year. Apple Reports Third Quarter Results Profit margins are down to 36.9% to $6.9 billion, or $7.47 per share. Apple will pay a $3.05 dividend. International sales make up 57%.

No new products likely soon.

Pat Dies

I had a phone call from Jeff, who I had last seen at lunch on Tuesday, before he headed for palliative care. Pat had died at 2:35 a.m. The hospice had phoned him at 1:30 a.m. so he was able to be there at the end. While that was a bit sudden, we had all been expecting it sometime soon.

He was making arrangements. I went over to the bar at 2 p.m. (with a bottle of Pepperjack shiraz). Allen was waiting, and accepted a drink. Ray also turned up, and accepted a drink, which was not to his liking. Jeff was handling things pretty well. Word was getting around the village. Gordon turned up somewhat later also. It is sounding like the Wake will be next Wednesday at the back of the restaurant, and I plan to return for it. That was where Pat had wanted it.


I did more shoe repairs after I walked back. I now expect the glue to fail. Packed Jean's car, for very poor values of packed. Certain that much is missing. Made myself some scrambled eggs for dinner, since I had eaten very little during the day.

By seven I was sitting in my chair typing this, pretty much completely out of it. I gave up and went to bed around ten, after doing all my computer updates that I thought I could manage.

Thursday 25 July 2013

To Airlie Beach

I did not awaken until a little after five. It was cold, dark, and bleak. Normally I wear shorts, a tropical shirt, and sandals. I put them in a bag and wore a track suit and canvas shoes, with socks. Packed the last of the stuff from the fridge into the cooler. The eggs would not fit in the cooler.

It must have been nearly six before I got away in Jean's car, as I did not reach the outskirts of Townsville until six. There seemed innumerable traffic blockages for road works, mostly before Ayr. Must have been seven before I reached Ayr. Continued, and it was eight before I reached Bowen. More traffic blockages, lots of people well below the speed limit. It was a terrible drive in terms of pace. I reached Shute Harbour Road at nine. Reached the Whitsunday Terraces well after nine, having not stopped during the entire drive. Bah, humbug.

Whitsunday Terraces

I unpacked Jean's car. It took eight trips up the stairs to empty the thing. For someone who is trying to get rid of junk, I sure seem to have a lot of it. So it must have been nearly ten before I had completed that.

I had a few items I had been wanting to move for a fair while, like the old aluminium Mac Pro computer case. I would like to turn those two cases into supports for a coffee table, if I can build something I like.

Off to Bunnings hardware to start getting more materials for construction. Not usually having a car, I have not been able to get these previously.

I had seen some 290 wide radiata pine shelves last visit. These were 1.2 metres long. I had decided I could use them to make a couple of stands to boost my loudspeakers to the correct height. Then I could also place the fancy cube lights on them, to give an ambilight effect. I needed a half dozen pieces for two speakers.

Three pieces of rough construction timber in 2.4 metre lengths, to act as supports for a table surface. This will be in the closet, so no-one will see it. Given how bad it will look, it is just as well it is hidden. The main thing was the actual surface. 595mm wide white melamine was available. However I can not fit a 2.4 metre length in Jean's car. At least, not safely. I needed a two metre length, which is also the maximum I can fit in Jean's car if there is no passenger.

Last was a piece of plywood. I am hoping I can steam shape the ply. The plastic support on the back of the dining chair has broken. I sort of hope to fashion a replacement. There are four chairs with this problem.

That little collection of items took five trips up the stairs. They were heavy and awkward as well.

Airlie Beach

I went for a walk around Airlie Beach. The new Woolworths site has some foundation concrete underway. I can not get any feel as yet about what will be there eventually. The main street reconstruction still looks a mess, but some of the footpath paving shows great promise. There is also some footpath furniture construction that looks nice. I am not really seeing them completing construction mid August, or even mid September. However it is now clear that the end is somewhere in sight.

Collected the last three weeks of the Whitsunday Times at the news agency. I stopped at Reception and met the new (temporary) onsite managers Sam and Alicia, who seem nice folks.

Lurched the rest of the way up the hill. I had bought a tiny party pie and a party sausage roll at Brumby's so I had a bit of a snack, after no having had a real breakfast (a banana) or lunch.

Next task was putting all the stuff away, since I had just dumped it on the floor when I unloaded the car. I did get around to cutting the rough construction timber into two metre lengths. Looks like I will manage to do that table surface in the closet fairly easily tomorrow. I have everything else I need.

Free Math Courses on Video

A nice collection of links to free mathematics courses online in video.

Friday 26 July 2013

Airlie Beach Morning

I was awake in the dark at 5 a.m. so I figured I might as well get up. The wind is whistling around the balcony. Going out early will not be pleasant.

Weight (different scales) is 69.9 kilograms. I brought the old set of scales with me, so I can attempt to track when I overeat. Alas, they do not connect to the internet with your weight, nor do they automatically record weight. How 20th Century!

It was too cold to go for an early walk.

Bunnings and Shopping

I drove Jean's car to Bunnings fairly early, since they open early. I was planning to turn the two big aluminium Mac pro cases into stands for a coffee table. I thought I could probably use a toughened glass panel from a swimming pool fence as the top of the table. Bunnings had a 600mm by 1200mm panel of 12mm thick toughened glass. However it weighed nearly 20 kilograms. I would need something to stabilise the base of the Mac Pro boxes. I found some 25mm square section aluminium that was one metre long that would probably work. However by then I was wondering about the merit of the whole idea. Especially as I really wanted a more narrow top, to better suit the Mac Pro boxes, perhaps 500mm rather than 600mm.

I also looked at some of the doors, but the plain interior doors seem fragile. I looked at some radiata pine panels that was pre-glued into a panel. They seem to have possibilities. In the end I could not decide on what might work, so I did not buy anything. I am losing interest in the idea of a coffee table.

Off to Centra shopping centre. I saw what appeared to be local Member of Parliament George Christensen apparently flagging down cars on Shute Harbour Road. I guess he is publicising the tree planting effort he is supporting on the foreshore tomorrow. This Nationals MP certainly seems active enough.

Centra shopping centre still has reconstruction of the parking lot underway. I checked a number of shops without finding anything I could subvert to my use. I have pretty much given up on finding a store that actually stocks anything I want. I chatted with the owner of the local music and video shop, which will be moving back to a great location in Airlie Beach. Checked the Harvey Norman furniture store. Went to Woolworths for food for my stay. However all I really wanted was about $8 of fresh food. Drove back home very dissatisfied with the waste of time attending retail shops.


I had raisin toast for a late breakfast. The thin sliced raisin bread is actually close to useless for toast. I have to stop buying it, even if it is on special. Only the thick slice raisin bread is worthwhile. I suspect most of that loaf will be thrown out.

Terraces Committee

I set off on a walk, but part way down the hill came across Val. So we stopped and I chatted to her for a fair while. I did finally complete my walk around Airlie Beach, stopping to collect a newspaper before heading up the hill.

Later saw Doug, Ed, Ted and other committee members all doing their walkaround of the resort. They did not seem happy, despite what I see as improvements. Being on the committee, they are seeing more of the problems of the poor paint job of a decade ago now starting to fail in many areas.

My concern at the moment is the gardens and general groundsman work takes around 25 hours a week of a good groundsman (which we now have). This is to get back to what was there prior to QResorts taking over, when Thorsten was doing such a good job. There was actually real progress back then, with new major garden works, not just returning to an acceptable standard.

Body Corporate Meeting

I attended the Body Corporate Committee Meeting of the Whitsunday Terraces as an observer, having asked Chairman Doug for an invitation. As usual, I can not report what was said until the committee minutes are sent to owners.

There was not much for Greg or Sam to say really, when they came in after a three hour meeting. They had got a lot of stuff done (or caught up) in a remarkably short time, but it was a matter of weeks, so there was not a lot to say.

Personally I think you need to have a couple (or two people) on hand as managers to make this resort management work. I certainly should have realised it would fail when Rose had the job as a single manager, without Chad helping with the maintenance role. It needs more than one person, as they burn out. One full time handling the booking system and all the office work. One to handle the maintenance and supervision of tradesmen, although that is not usually full time in terms of hours as distinct from availability unless they are also doing the gardening and groundsman work.

Greg as usual put on drinks after the meeting. I chatted with Sam for a while. Frankly I wish Sam and Alicia were taking on the job as permanents. It will be hard for Greg to find their equal.

To be honest, I think the entire BCCM Body Corporate business model for apartments is headed for failure. Red tape and regulation restrict what managers can accomplish. Labour costs are headed ever higher, and the amount of government make work continues to increase. I can not see how the owners of the apartments can get satisfactory service at affordable costs, especially with insurance now such a high portion of their fees. I can not see how resort managers can make a profit without having almost all the apartments in the rental pool. I could not recommend anyone buy into an apartment complex in North Queensland.


I made sure to dress warmly, since even Airlie Beach was cool the last few nights. This evening dinner was at the newly reopened Whitsunday Terraces restaurant. Drinks were bought, as I sat talking with Doug, whose wife had also joined us. I also chatted with Val and with Ed, new to me on committee. Like Doug, I had the pork belly dinner, and it was delicious. We also got through rather a lot of wine, two bottle. I sat up fairly late chatting with Val. I have known Val since she and Chris were resort managers here about fourteen years ago.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Market Morning

I was awake before six, despite the excesses of the previous evening. When a kookaburra started laughing, I figures I could not sleep through that.

Weight is variously 69.7 and 70.1 kilograms on the same scale, seconds apart. Reliability or perhaps repeatability does not seem a strong point.

I did some work on the computer, while wondering if I was sufficiently warmly dressed to visit the markets.

At the Markets I chatted with Michael, who had the spot usually taken by the folks I get breakfast from. As a result, I never did get breakfast. I saw Glenn still setting up. There had been a misunderstanding. I had asked if he was having a birthday party at his place (as he often did). He thought I was suggesting a party today. So I decided there was no reason not to do so. Saw Rex, who alas could not manage to attend. Saw Jonathan, who was handing out flyers for The Greens. He was able to attend.

After I returned home with the newspapers, I sent out an email to all the party folks. I had to apologise for the late notice.

The weather was warming up by 8 a.m. so I changed to shorts and sandals for my next walk.

A Walk in the Park

I took a walk down through the Airlie Beach foreshore, across Abell Point Marina and Peninsula, to where the Bicentennial Park goes near Cannonvale school. This took about forty minutes.

The stated reason was that local Nationals member of Federal parliament George Christensen was handing out trees. I admit they were very small trees, since I could put it in my backpack. I did learn from George that they were trying to get insurance companies to talk to them about the vast increases in insurance rates for body corporate insurance in the tropical north. Most of my complaints about government that have much chance of being addressed relate to State government, so there was no point raising them with George.

I marched back to the Airlie Beach Markets, taking almost another forty minutes. Caught up briefly with Michael, Glenn, Rex, Mark, and Jonathan. Josie had turned up at The Green stall. However I mostly wanted to brag to Jonathan that George was actually handing out trees to plant.

I bought a case of bubbles at the BWS on the way back. I absolutely did not like the weight in my backpack while going up the hill at the end of my walk.

Distance covered 8.3 kilometres.


I had a visit from Michael in the afternoon. He had a delivery in the area, and dropped in for a short while in lieu of attending the party.It is a long way to drive just for a party. He also left birthday greetings for Glenn.


I had my usual party, this time celebrating Glenn's birthday. With so little warning, most people could not attend. Rex had already indicated he had visitors. I heard from Pete, who was not available. Jim was at his farm, and sent an email congratulating Glenn. So it was Jonathan and Josie. Doug came up from his apartment, and accepted some red wine. His wife was not feeling up to attending, and they already had a dinner planned. It was good to see him again for a while.

Minor cleanup of the rubbish, but I did not complete the washing up, only rinsed glasses. There had been minor rain during the evening. And so to bed, not all that much time after ten, when the guests left.

Sunday 28 July 2013


I was up well before 5:30 a.m. A dark, bleak morning, with wind rattling the doors. It is very overcast. To the extent I can see the sky, it looks like rain. I did manage to pull a splinter out of my thumb, so that was good.

My weight was 70.1 kilograms, after all that pizza and champagne.

I went for a walk around the foreshore around seven, when the sun was starting to be visible, and the cloud had been banished for a while. Alas, the cloud came back. However I managed to have breakfast in the main street, read the morning paper, and return in time for a shower before my weekly TV current affairs programs. I had covered just over five kilometres, or about 7500 steps.

I watched Insiders, and then switched between The Bolt Report (interviewing Kevin Rudd) and Inside Business. After that I watched Meet the Press. I did manage to get a bunch of stuff ready to take to the car while advertising was on.

I pulled apart the seat back from the dining chair. Took forever to get all the staples out, so I did it while watching TV news. There must have been 80 staples. I am not at all sure I can warp plywood sufficient to suit the chair back.

Domain name Service

A nice description of using dig to understand the domain name system, called DNS: The Good Parts, and is by Pete Keen. I enjoyed it.

Economy Good

I acknowledge advice the Australian economy is good, reflected in the AAA rating from the three major rating agencies who did not notice the AAA rated Lehman Brothers was sinking in the mire before the GFC. Australia has the second lowest government debt as a percentage of GDP in the OECD.

One anomaly about government debt reports is they tend to be reported in terms of GDP. However a debt is generally repaid out of income. So at the end of 2013 FY, Federal debt will be around A$270 billion, and income will probably be more than A$370 billion. Repayment will take a while. A long while.

I can not help but think the Australia Federal government was $20 billion in the black (partly due to sale of government enterprises) when Howard was thrown out in 2007, plus it had money to cover some unfunded public service pensions in the $60 billion Future Fund. As we head for a 2013 election, the Federal government has debts of around $270 billion. Plus it has unfunded commitments for the National Broadband Network (which probably is not commercially viable), and the Gonski education reform funding (when education is a State matter - not that the States have sufficient income to do their job).

So there is close to $300 billion debt in six years, and very limited infrastructure improvements to show for it. So when the GFC returns, and I do not believe it is over, what do we do? Revenue is not increasing at the same pace as expenditure, although both are larger. Government does not influence items like the China factor that I believe saved us. It does control a lot of infrastructure investments and tax directions, and these it did not handle well. Yet long term Government commitments keep increasing. In contrast, business and financial institution debt is low compared to most other countries. Part of this is because Australian banks will basically no longer lend to small business. Despite rhetoric about deleveraging, total debt has grown in all the largest mature economies since the GFC, except for the United States, South Korea and Australia. This is mostly rising government debt. That is not the way I would run a household budget.

So why did our economy not tank? Certainly government spending must take some credit. However this period also, thanks to China taking so much mine output, had about the best terms of trade figures I can ever recall. I would value mining as a far greater influence.

Personal and household debt is a completely different thing. Australian home buyers are vastly overextended, on what I believe are an overvalued product. Our bulk personal debt is just as bad as in any of the countries whose economy has been trashed. I believe families are realising things are not good. Now that households are back in a more normal saving pattern of around 10% of income, the retail industry is screaming about problems making sales.

Japan has a tremendous government debt, mostly owed to its own people, rather than to outside countries. This self debt reduces problems. Australia owes other countries about 95% of GDP. Compared to most countries, this is low.

Monday 29 July 2013

Airlie Morning

I got up around five, in the dark. However I had not heard any rain, and although there was cloud in a dark sky, many areas looked clear.

My weight has gone up to 70.6 kilograms. Not impressed. Obviously not sufficiently hungry before eating.

Made myself some scrambled eggs for breakfast, using one small and one large egg. In the spirit of intake reduction, I used insufficient butter and milk. Try not to make that mistake again. It is almost impossible to have too much butter and milk in your scrambled eggs.

Saw Wal hosing the parking lot, so I offered him the plant George gave me. He readily accepted, so I went and collected it. I am sure he will have better luck than I would.

No Interest

Many developed countries now have interest rates at or below the zero bound. Governments tend not to mind repaying their bonds with money worse less than what they borrowed. Australia has an official underlying inflation rate of 2.4%, and an official cash rate of 2.75%. However what do you do now? It is really hard to have interest rates below zero for long. People notice. So what happens if interest rates increase to a more normal state, say around 5%?

The property market collapses, while home buyers are unable to afford repayments, and lots of property foreclosed. The share market crashes. The bond market collapses, since low rate long term bonds are worth very little.

So what can a government do? Default, or engineer high inflation. All the while denying inflation is higher than the official rate.

Shopping Trip

I drove off for shopping, a little late. Stopped at Whitsunday Shopping Centre, but could not find much. I did a food shop in Coles, which was bad news because I was hungry. Found three varieties of Dick Smith Australian made jams, so I got them. Tinned salmon was down in price, so I got that, and a few other staple foodstuffs that were reduced. Stocked up on snack chocolates for the return trips. I even remembered to put them in the box for the car.

Stopped at the garage for fuel, because I would not have sufficient to get to Townsville. I did not want to be seeking fuel at 5 a.m.

Stopped at Home Hardware, but could find nothing suitable for my chair repairs. Continued on to Centro Shopping Centre, but which time it was raining. Went into the very helpful Mitre 10. No luck with lamps or chair repairs, but they do stock a $69 plunge router attachment for a Dremmel tool. I am tempted, but I think what I really need is the alternate router attachment. Decided to give up any further looking at Centro.

Drove back to LEW (now reduced to just their original store), and checked their lighting range. This is much reduced now they have so little space compared to the large former store at Centro. I was amazed to see the cube chair lights, in small and large. I was really pleased to note that my version of a cube light looked about as good, and had been far cheaper.

For a good while I thought I would fail to find a suitable lamp. Then I saw a cylindrical glass lamp, 120mm diameter across the base, and 450mm tall. I think that may work. It is a made in China lamp for Eglo Lighting Australia, number 81829N GEO, and takes an E27 bulb. I hope I can pick up a few more, of the slightly shorter 350mm tall 81828 model.


I tested my new table lamp when I returned. I think it will look OK, but need to wait for evening to really be able to tell.

Had a mandarine and a banana as a lunch substitute. Not enough. So later on I used the last slice of ham and made an open face ham, cheese and tomato toasted sandwich.

Wasted time watching TV on Monday evening. Dr Who, Media Watch, Q&A, LateLine. Not sure why I bother. The ABC and SBS are marginally better than the free to air channels, but it is only marginally better.

Tuesday 30 July 2013


I was up a little after five. Finally got around to putting out the garbage I had intended to get rid of in the evening. It is a bit chilly outside, and it seems the sky is mostly cloudy. Actually the sky is about 9/10 cloud.

My weight is still up at 70.6 kilograms. Totally stubborn, despite me being hungry.

Wal must have had some crisis this morning. I noticed the rubbish was not out, so I took out a bin from Florin Terrace. I could see the garbage truck lights down the street, so I rushed down to Endeavour Terrace, and took a bin out from there. I noticed Wal had taken out the other bins by then, so it all worked out just in time. First time I have noticed Wal being late, but it was a dark morning, and easy to mistake the time.

By the time I returned from a short walk to get newspapers, the sun was out and streaming into my room. Warming up rapidly this winter morning.

Had the left over thick sliced raisin toast for breakfast. Must remember to never get the thin sliced raisin toast, no matter how tempting.

Had scrambled eggs for lunch, with enough butter and milk this time.


I had an internet connection at 5:30 a.m. Around 5:35 a.m. my internet connection dropped out in the middle of some web surfing. The ADSL modem still believes I have a connection, and is not showing a red error light. A numeric ping fails to work, with an unreachable destination. I power cycled the Netgear ADSL modem, although it is not showing an error light. Ping is back at 5:44 a.m. However internet connection is too slow to use. It speed up after a few minutes.

Internet connection failed again at 5:51 a.m. I went off doing other things, without making any changes. The internet connection was back at 6:01 a.m.

Internet connection fails at 6:06 a.m. A numeric ping times out. After a few minutes I contemplated power cycling the Netgear ADSL modem. However the internet came back spontaneously at 6:10 a.m.

Internet fails at 6:17 a.m. Numeric ping times out. Numeric ping working again at 6:18 a.m.

Internet failed again at 6:31 a.m. Numeric ping times out. I returned at 6:43 a.m. and the internet had returned.

Internet out again at 6:50 a.m. I went for a walk. Internet was working when I returned.

Internet failed again around 4:20 p.m. This time the red Netgear ADSL modem warning light was on. I power sequenced the modem. Connection seems to have returned.


I am still failing to find the sort of furniture that I want. Indeed, I mostly can not find anything that I like. The furniture stores seem stocked with either cheap shit, or really large expensive stuff that is no use to me.

It does not help any that the chairs we searched for four years ago are already breaking. These were supposed to be quality waiting room chairs. The frames are great, and totally intact. The padding is reasonably robust and upholstery is well done. However they used a plastic honeycomb for the back of the chair, and it split and ripped apart where the bolts secure it to the frame. So far I have not found any reliable way to repair it, and retain the shape of the chair back. It makes me very loath to buy either cheap Chinese imports to replace them, or another set of expensive Australian chairs.

I considered plywood. I can not use a kerf on the ply, because that weakens it.

So I decided to start on stands for the loudspeakers. I had previously purchased six pieces of 1.2 metre long 290mm wide radiata pine. Lengths did vary. So I measured and cut myself eight shelves from two of these lengths. The cheap jigsaw I bought would be rather noisy, and probably not well controlled, so I did the thirteen cuts using the hand saw. I retained the straightest timber for the uprights.

Kevin 737

A short note to Business Spectator. Can we get at least one thing right in all this political speculation? The larger VIP aircraft operated by the RAAF are Boeing 737-700s and not 747. Please refer to Kevin 737, not Kevin 747. Thank you.

Wednesday 31 July 2013

Leave Airlie Beach

I was awake around 4:30 a.m. but did not manage to get the final things packed until about 4:45 a.m. I should have had a quick drive. No such luck, with low mist and slow drivers. I had to make a rest break at Home Hill. Not feeling the best.

Went through a red light at a construction site. Automated, and I easily caught up with other traffic, so it was not unsafe. I hope they are not yet updated with red light cameras.

My weight was 70 kilograms.


In Townsville somewhat after eight. I had to collect fuel for the return trip, which took a while. Stopped at Willows to get some food. While I was walking around, I came upon Frank, who has to use Windows for a genealogy program. Finally got to Carlyle Gardens well after nine. Stopped at the office. Surprised Liz since I had a plain shirt. Nothing there for me. I wonder what happened with parcels?

Collected mail, of which there was too much. Sprayed weeds around garden, in between unloading Jean's car. Sprayed weeds around house, in between finding breakfast things. Put down ant sand around house, when I found far to many ant trails. Finally actually had breakfast, by making two scrambled eggs.

Walked to bar, since I could not see anyone at Jeff's place (there was a van there), and asked about funeral and Wake.

After the funeral and wake, I went home, and started packing again. Brief pauses while I watched the ISS pass over, and did some cleaning. I feel totally wrecked.

Home and Away

AB 15, CG 9, T 7

Funeral Pat Williams

I went to the bar. Dave told me that Pat Williams' funeral was at 2 p.m. He very kindly offered to take me to the crematorium (it is a long drive, and I must have looked exhausted), and said he would collect me at one.

I found some dark trousers and shoes. Luckily I was ready early, as Dave arrived in the very sporty coupe well before one. We were the first to the crematorium, and were nearly an hour early. There were around a dozen people on the Carlyle Gardens bus, when Len had kindly driven. A total of about 50 mourners.

There was a simple and very moving ceremony. Excellent choice of both music and poems. Jeff said some things that made me realise how little I really knew of our lost companion at the Tuesday lunch. Towards the end Dave really felt overcome. After the funeral, he was first away, afraid he would break up entirely if he talked with Jeff. I have to admit to feeling much the same.

One funny item afterwards, since the Wake was at the CG restaurant. Dave noted there was no Jacobs Creek bubbles for Krys at the restaurant. I had a half dozen cooling in our fridge. So when Dave dropped me home, I rushed in and brought him out a bottle of the Jacobs Creek sparkling chardonnay pinot noir. When I walked back to the restaurant, Krys had already located that bottle, and was fiercely guarding it. I was amused and told her the history.

I thought Allen and Dave supplied a very nice range of snacks for the wake. I have trouble resisting party meat pies and sausage rolls, especially since starting to diet. So I did not. I also had one of the little chocolate cupcakes. Shame.

I was able to chat with a number of Carlyle Gardens residents, and a number of the relatives. The Wake broke up around six. I am very glad I attended, and thus learn more about Pat.

Solar Power

My solar inverter output figures are 4591kWh in 13433 hours. The previous figures in June were E-total 4498kWh, h-total 13104 hours. This makes 93kWh power generated in 329 hours. 3kW per day or 282 Watts per active hour, in July. Panels are 1000 Watts nominal.

The Ergon electricity meter on 30 June 2013 showed Tariff 11 at 4913kWh purchased, Tariff 33 at 4116kWh, and the export of power from the solar panel at 2023kWh since installed. New figures for the end of July 2013 are 5018kWh purchased on Tariff 11, Tariff 33 is at 4132kWh, and solar power export is 2075kWh. Use for the month of July is 105kWh, air conditioning use is 16kWh. Solar export is 52kWh, much better than June.


I went outside and dark acclimated. The International Space Station started its pass in the SW at 7:20 p.m. and was visible headed north for about four minutes. A nice pass, especially as overcast stopped me seeing a previous one last month.

Eric Lindsay's Blog July 2013